Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Oh the pain of molting

Oh the pain, the nakedness of molting. My yard is full of half naked chickens in some extreme molt. Egg laying is down as they use their energy to bring in those new feathers. This poor girl has but one tail feather left!

This poor girl looks better in the picture than she really is, she has but only outer feathers with her new feathers erupting...

and this girl looks like she borrowed a small feather to look like a tail feather!

Big Bertha here is not looking so big these days! Her tail feathers are gone and she is but a fraction of herself.

A rooster without tail feathers is just terrible. I am finding my roosters not as manly as usual lately!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

New England Fiber Festival 2016

This weekend was the New England Fiber Festival and we had an amazing time! I share my booth each year with my wonderful friend Naomi Allen. We laughed and had such a good time meeting new people, chatting with fellow fiber artists and spending time with each other.

Some of my booth area, set up and ready to go. By the end of the show many of these shelves were near empty.

My beautiful vintage body form with a hand knitted mohair scarf.

"Frankie" our new English Angora buck got a lot of attention this weekend. I think he was the most photographed animal at the Festival. He loved every minute of it.

This was part of Naomi's booth. She has some amazing wool for rug hooking. Her pieces are amazing! She was the only one there that does it like she does. Her booth was always busy with wonderful people!

My pillows were fondled often!

This was our neighbor's Wendsleydale ram. A woman was talking to him and he was quite attentive. He even tried to steal my banana! I miss my sheep and he was a pleasure having him next to us.

I didn't get a chance to see much this year, but I did happen to pass this woman doing some old world weaving.

She was using these amazing counter balances which were stone. so as I reflect on this year, how hard I worked towards this show, I must thank everyone who bought from me this year, who I talked to and who I may have inspired. I sure do get inspired by the many kind people I meet at this show!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Just by chance, a helpful discovery!!!

While getting ready for the New England Fiber Festival I had some last minute things to package and price. I had a few mohair fleeces that were taking their time drying. I pulled out my blow dryer and it died! I got to thinking and decided to try the dryer. What harm would it be for just a few minutes? Would it felt? Would it work? Would it get ruined? Well the chance was worth it so I threw in a small black dyed fleece I had done.

It came out amazing!!! It was fluffy, opened the locks, separated any remaining dirt and was amazingly soft too!!!

I tried another fleece, the same results! Soft and open locks and ready to be spun!

This is my Victorian inspired mohair fleece and this too came out wonderful! Open locks and soft! I love when you try something for chance and it works out!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Vicorian inspiration...

Last weekend I went on a lantern tour of a historical district that was primarily on Victorian homes. I just love living in New England because the history is so rich and each area tells a tale of old. Sometimes you can just stand there and imagine the times. We even toured an old Opera House that had my imagination in over drive.  I was busy all day preparing for my biggest show of the year. I zipped down for the tour and came home, I had my dye pot prepared but had no idea what I would do when I got back. I later returned and grabbed my dye box. I pulled out 4 colors and got busy dyeing the mohair that was sheared from my girls recently.

It wasn't until I began rinsing it that I realized I had dyed some beautiful colors that took me back to the Victorian times. Rich greens that were closer to olives (the pictures do not give it justice!) and beautiful mauves. It was as if my Victorian experience was channeled straight into my subconscious! I was amazed at the beauty!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Getting ready for the big show!

With just one week to go, we are getting ready for the New England Sheep and Wool Festival at the Big E Grounds in Springfield, MA! I have been busy dyeing, spinning, packaging and getting ready for the fun!

I have handspun mohair drying in various places around the house.

Bags of handmade items I have been busy all year making.

Bins are all around the house filled to the gills of many things too!

And "Frankie" is all ready to make his debut too! So if you are coming, look for us in the animal barn. We are the last booth at the exit door on the right. I will be there with my friend Naomi and we are hoping to have as much fun as we did last year! See you at the Fair!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Not all is lost when dyeing

While on my dyeing mission lately I made the ultimate mistake and this is my story!!! A few weeks ago we had our angora goats sheared so I had sometime to dye one morning before work. I grabbed one of the fleeces, popped it into a pot with some hot water to soak.

Got the water going and added the dyes. I was going for a chartreuse and deep lavender dye mix. Placed my dyes on the mohair and got busy doing some other things which I am always multi tasking because life gets crazy right?!

I did my usual skerer poking to get my color through...

and then I noticed this which was not good, my colors blending together. Then I realized I had forgot the most important thing, the mordant!!! I forgot to add the vinegar!!!!

I quickly rinsed it and got this, oh my!

I pulled some of the mohair, put it in the pot with a mordant this time and some dye. I now have seafoam green and a pretty dark lavender! All is not lost, when you have lemons make lemonade and in this case you can rescue a dyeing mistake if you try!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A season for dyeing

This time of year, with the cooler temperatures and less to do outside, we move inward and for me, it's dyeing all kinds of colors. However this time of year I do love the fall colors. The picture above is some merino I had. I am getting ready for the New England Fiber Festival. So while the dye pots are simmering, I take a moment to grab a cup of tea and admire the lovely colors of Autumn.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Autumn insired dying day

With a fleece of mohair, I was feeling inspired with all the fall foliage, so I decided to copy the colors with some dyes. I filled the pot and added the dyes onto certain parts of the fleece in the boiling pot.

The colors blended nicely, giving more color to the next. I used about 10 different dyes, browns, reds, yellows and a hint of grey too!

My autumn inspired mohair could not be caught as well as it actually came out by the camera.

However the colors are amazing and I can't wait to begin to spin it.

A close up of the many different colors, all inspired by my favorite time of year, Autumn!

Monday, October 10, 2016

A day of beauty for the girls

It was time for the girls to have that one last hair cut before the cold weather sets in. Their coats are full of beautiful mohair.

Their ankles are so adorable with their cute curls...

and Pru's are even fuller!

With Maddie on the left and Pru on the right, they wait for their shearer to show.

Ron East showed up and got right to work with Maddie first, she's such a good girl!

We saved Pru for last who had some choice words for her captor!

A couple banana chips later made all okay again.

They are talking to us again! Now to get that beautiful mohair into the dye pot!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Welcome to the Coon Hollow Family little one!

We welcomed this handsome new  English Angora to our Coon Hollow Family today! He is a sweet handsome Blue eyed white buck aka BEW. Just 5 months old and already a big boy.

Such a happy boy too! The moment I put him in his cage he did a binky! Just in love with this boy!

Just look at those blue eyes! Now to find him a name, kinda thinking "Frankie" for old blue eyes! Thanks to Daniel Kuyoth for such a quality rabbit. We are truly in love with this boy!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

When bears attack!!!

Sadly it has happened, after 8 years of beekeeping our hives were hit by a bear early this morning. My heart dropped when I discovered them this morning. It seems to have only tipped them over. Tim may have startled them on his way out to feed the farm yard this morning.

It has decimated our neighbors hive and has discovered ours.  

We plan to harvest everything we can because I am sure this is not the end of the bear. I think its time for a bear fence! Or a nice dead bear! My neighbor has tried countless times to call the DEEP and she has fallen on deaf ears. when it comes to our livestock we will protect it at all cost!